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Whistleblower charges drug company with deceptive practices

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7390.620 (Published 22 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:620
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. New York

    A former drug company insider has spoken to reporters for the first time since he filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 1996 in a US federal court.

    At a press conference last week he gave details of the suit he has filed.

    The suit charges that Parke-Davis engaged in elaborate inducement schemes to persuade doctors to promote the off-label use of one of its best selling drugs, gabapentin (Neurontin), an anti-epileptic drug approved as adjunctive treatment for partial seizures. It also says the company ran ghost writing schemes, in which it paid specialists to “author” articles that were actually written by technical writers hired by the company.

    Prescribing drugs off label accounts for over 78% of sales of gabapentin, according to Parke-Davis. Although off-label prescribing is legal, …

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